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Review: EA Sport 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

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Review: EA Sport 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Always a collectible for soccer video gamers, EA Sports FIFA World Cup games come around every four years along with the world’s most popular sporting event. This year’s incarnation is the virtual version of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (and so named). We’ve been spending many hours playing the PlayStation 3 version (it’s not available on the PS4) over the past few weeks. Here’s what we’ve found.

Review: EA Sport 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Presentation

The first thing that will strike an EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil player who is experienced with the company’s FIFA 14 offering is an updated user interface (UI) tailored to this summer’s tournament. While the UI is based on the mosaic navigation of FIFA 14, it is now colorized with the famous green and yellow of Brazil. It also makes abundant use of the competition’s official font.

Although World Cup Brazil has an impressive pop music soundtrack that includes songs from FIFA’s official tournament album and more, you also have the option of listening to very humorous and entertaining talk radio that is deep and very informed. This new feature is called EA Sports Talk Radio and definitely has a future in the FIFA Series. We say this even though we are music fans who do not usually listen to sports talk radio.

Review: EA Sport 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Once you enter a game (don’t we all go straight into “Kick Off” mode to try them out?) you’ll notice excellent presentation that captures the essence of Brazil and World Cup. Pregame venue animation is impressive as are all twelve of the stadiums to be used throughout South America’s largest country for the 2014 World Cup. You get a feel of almost being there in the EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil’s lead up to any match in the finals.

Fan animation before and during matches is present in EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Supporters mannerisms reflect their team’s performance on the feel as do their clothing and replica kits. However, in some cases there is quite a bit of repetition in the female fans used. We ran into several matches where there appeared to be a brood of identical women littered throughout the crowd.

Review: EA Sport 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

FIFA’s always fun fan parks are in an EA Sports video game for the first time. They appear after goals via scenes around the world showing either celebrating or disappointed fans.

Our biggest complaint with the presentation and game logic of EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is the fact that during the completion matches are not on neutral ground. For example, matches in which hosts Brazil are drawn as the “away” team have stadiums that are filled with fans from their opponent’s country. The EA Sports algorithms that seem to make home standing teams perform better are in effect in such situations. While this is fine for qualification, it doesn’t apply for the World Cup finals especially if Brazil is playing. What is the likelihood that when Brazil meets Cameroon in the group state of the World Cup that the Estadio Nacional will be filled with Indomitable Lions supports who spur their team on the a 0-0 draw with Brazil?

Review: EA Sport 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Game Modes

Gamers are not limited to the finals of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil in the EA Sports game of the same name. The video game giant has added several online and offline modes to ensure longevity in the title. These include qualification from any regional zone via Road to the World Cup and attempting to lead your country to World Cup glory via Captain Your Country. In the latter, you have to start as a fringe player and perform good enough to make it to the team leadership role. Additional modes include Road to Rio de Janeiro where you play online in 2014 World Cup stadia in an attempt to make it to the final in Rio. The Online World Cup and the scenario based Story of Qualifying and Story of the Finals (only available once the tournament starts) are also available.

Gameplay

While EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is all about bring gamers the ability to simulate the good times of the football’s ultimate completion, it does offer several gameplay improvements over FIFA 14. Based on EA Sports history with their 2010 World Cup and EURO 2012 games, we are fairly certain that they will be FIFA 15 is some form.

Despite the fact that the gameplay of EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is mostly the same as that of FIFA 14, here are the enhancements that we spotted.

Review: EA Sport 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Improved Dribbling

Dribbling in EA Sport 2014 World Cup game is more responsive than in FIFA 14. Quite a bit reminiscent of FIFA Street, players feel more free and easier to move in all 360 degrees.  This makes skill moves (including some new ones) easier to pull off. Maybe this is EA Sports ode to the fancy footwork that Brazil’s Samba style of soccer is known for. Also, player acceleration and deceleration now works better. This is excellent for the very effective counterattacking style in 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

Set Pieces

Set pieces such as corners and free kicks are very difficult to score from in FIFA 14. A very welcome addition to EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil are Set Piece Tactics that give attackers a little more advantage. These work particularly well on corners where options such as “Crowd the Keeper” and “Run Near Post” create great goal scoring opportunities.

Review: EA Sport 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Penalty kicks are updated once again by EA Sports with players now rushing from the edge of the box to try to poke in saved shots. Goalies have been given a series of new antics such as wobbly-knees, matador, and shoot-it-there intended to throw off penalty takers.

In Game Training

Player training ahead of matches in EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil now includes a slew of new drills. Putting selected players through the paces in training can result in improved ratings. The changes are usually nominal (such as +1 and +2 for pace for instance) but can result in much better players through a marathon World Cup qualification campaign.

Review: EA Sport 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Defense

Defense has not been overhauled since last autumn’s FIFA 14 but there does seem to be greater defender intelligence in EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. There is definitely better defensive heading in which you will find hard men like Vincent Kompany and David Luiz jumping over attacking players’ back to clear the ball out of danger.

Summary

Quite enjoyable for any soccer fan (particularly those of the international game), EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil will keep you thoroughly entertained in the lead by to this summer’s action. Great presentation, a load of game options and some wicked gameplay make it a console must until the 2018 World Cup.

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